Sometimes you encounter people who’ve seemingly known what they’ve wanted to do since birth. Those are also the only people who seem to reply to the “Why did you choose to study computer science?” thread on Quora when you’re desperately looking for clarity about your major at 2am and stress eating hot cheetos.
If you can’t already tell, I didn’t fall into the category of ‘people who know what they want to do’. When I initially applied for colleges, I considered everything from pre-med to physics to design. Computer science had crossed my mind at one point, but very briefly. I had never taken a programming class at my small high school, and didn’t know much about the field. My mind only began changing after I listened to a computer science professor speak about her research. This professor had leveraged machine learning to provide personalized fashion advice through a chatbot. She spoke to me about her career as well, and how dual passions in computing and fashion guided her through college and towards research.
Right then and there, I decided to give computer science a shot. I’d love to say that the moment was very ‘aha!’ but it was more like ‘why not?’. In the end though, I was thoroughly impressed that the professor was able to combine both her (seemingly disparate) passions in her CS career—which I wanted to try as well, with art/design and CS.
The great thing about computer science is that it is incredibly interdisciplinary, and there are countless opportunities to explore your interests—whether it be in the industry or in the form of research. In addition, learning how to program is like learning how to use power tools. Once you get the hang of it, it enables you to build some really incredible things! Being a computer science major has enabled me to bring ideas to life, which has—and always will be—such a fulfilling feeling. And through research, I’m able to explore how the design of different interfaces influences a user’s perception of a technology. I couldn’t be happier with my choice 🙂
If you’re ever afraid that the computer science career path is too limiting, don’t be! You’ll definitely be able to pursue other passions, and might find yourself exploring the intersection between them.
About the Author
Lindsay is a sophomore studying Computer Science. Click above to find out more!